usually like heat, but over the last few days it was getting just
a little too warm for me. We had one of our balconies changed
into an office a few months back and now between 1pm and 5pm it
is like a heat trap. On Friday I opened the door to start some
work but decided not to stay when I felt the heat on the inside.
It was nearly 48 degrees C (120 F) according to the thermometer,
I decided that there were more pressing things to do in the comfort
of the rest of the flat.
most of the time the temperature hovers between 35 to 40 C . When
the heat is like this it is very difficult to stay cool. Even
the water from the cold tap feels lukewarm so there's no chance
to have a refreshing shower. The fans just circulate the warm
air and we aren't rich enough to afford or run an air-conditioner.
The temperature at night doesn't drop much either- once the flat
is heated up during the day it gives off the heat at night keeping
the temperature up. I'm writing this at 1:15am but the thermometer
shows that the temperature is 30 C (88F)- the same as a hot summers
day in Britain! It is not easy to sleep in this heat. So how do
have friends who are members of a health club at a local 4 star
hotel- so today we went swimming with them in an outdoor pool
(For members and guests only). Not only did we stay cool during
this time but we also enjoyed ourselves. We last went 3 weeks
ago so it will be good to do this regularly over the Summer. For
the rest of the time I've found that having a "cool" shower then
dry myself off by standing in front of the bedroom fan works well.
and Esther seems to be coping fairly well. Hannah usually wakes
up at about mid-night and asks for a drink. Afterwards she is
quite happy to go to bed beside Alison for the rest of the night,
so I will go in her bed. Esther sleeps through the night anyway
so there's no problems there. She has a tendancy to develop prickly
heat so we're constantly covering her with talcum powder.
we first arrived we were surprised to find that the rubbish is
collected every other day. Now we understand why this is so- it
is incredible how quickly it decomposes in this heat. Anything
perishable needs to go in the fridge.
a big problem to remember to drink enough. Several times we've
experienced the classic flu-like symptoms of dehydration. The
only solution is to sit down and drink constantly and relax. Today
I was talking to a taxi driver who was bitterly complaining about
the heat, I explaining to him that I was from England where we
don't have weather like this but we'd be happy to, now and again!
To be honest I'd prefer this kind of weather to the uncertain,
damp weather that we left behind in Britain. At the very least,
here we are guaranteed to have a decent Summer!
work here continues of course, despite the weather! I was in another
poor area last Sunday. We had to leave the car behind and walk
the last few minutes by foot because there was no decent road
system. The area was busy, hot and smelly. There were an unusual
number of stray dogs eating the rubbish in the streets- I've heard
that in areas like this up to 80 percent of the dogs are carriers
of rabies. (I'm in the middle of a course of rabies vaccinations,
this gave me a good incentive.) Life in these areas is difficult
and to be honest I felt out of place. By their standards I was
rich. I come from a rich country, I'm from a middle class family
with a good education living in one of the richer parts of the
city. I wore nice clothes and polished shoes. These people had
very little- the children played out in the streets amongst the
dirt and the rubbish. Their level of education was very basic
and there's little hope that they will ever escape from the poverty
I was accepted and welcomed. Because of their lack of schooling
they found it difficult to concentrate for more than just a few
minutes so it was difficult to speak to them the way that I wanted.
I played with the children, spoke to them and showed them some
tricks. They were very sad to see me leave. I'll be back again
next month but I somehow I think that I'll always feel like the
visiting foreigner . . .
greetings to you all,
Alison, Hannah and Esther
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